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Thursday, October 12, 2006

It's about Congress, stupid

Dailykos diarist Eleanor A. points up this must-read editorial from East Tennessee opinion maker Frank Cagle regarding the "conservative vote" and the Tennessee Senate race:

Which brings us to U.S. Senate candidate Bob Corker, the Republican nominee. Corker is not a conservative. He is a nice fellow and his election would not be a tragedy for Tennessee. But have you heard Corker deplore the corruption, legal and moral, now rampant in the United States Congress? Has he said a word about the deplorable state of his party’s governance? Has he suggested he would lift a finger to clean up this deplorable mess? Has he called for Speaker Dennis Hastert to resign?

Corker is not a change agent. He is establishment to the core.

There is only one way for a conservative to make these people pay for what they have done. They have to be punished. If you vote for Corker you are ratifying the “big government conservative” agenda they have perpetrated.

You can say what you please about Congressman Harold Ford Jr. but you cannot deny his charisma, his ability to mobilize press coverage, his political skills. If you want someone to shake up the U.S. Senate, he is your man. [...]

What the Congressional Republicans need is for someone to throw a wrench into their well-oiled money machine. Harold Ford Jr. is the tool you need.

I intend to vote for him in November and urge you to do the same. Do it to save conservatism in America. If you can’t vote for him, abstain.


This election is about Congress. It's a referendum about Congress, about those in control.

Whatever agenda the Democrats or the Republicans had going into this fall it has been decisively replaced by a tide of sentiment that this election will be about Congress, about leadership, an up or down referendum about the Senate and the House.

This election is not about George Bush, 9/11, minimum wage, North Korea, Iraq, drug pricing policy, gas prices, stem cells or any other issue that one might have thought going in. For conservatives, moderates, independents and slumbering Democrats alike in swing districts and states across the country this election is, pure and simple, a gut check about the leadership we look to from the United States Congress. Voters will come at this election from different angles, but the outcome at the polling place will be similar. It's time to vote for a change.

Candidates like Bob Corker will not get elected simply to add to the mess in DC. Candidates like Harold Ford, Jr. will get surprising support from all corners.

My advice to Democrats running for Congress is to read the above editorial in full and understand that it's the "flat-footed, pass the buck, make excuses, it's all about maintaining power" mindset of the GOP Congressional leadership that has created this opportunity. They can't clear the stinking smell that Dennis Hastert and Tom DeLay have left in the halls of the Capitol building...and with every passing day that's more and more clear.

The implicit message from every Democratic campaign must be we are agents of change, we're the party of action. We're folks you can take at our word...and we've got a big can of Lysol ready to spray at business-as-usual in Washington DC.

Yep, we'll clean out the stink cloud that's been hovering in the halls of this GOP Congress and we'll clean out K-Street too.

For every flat-footed GOP candidate who's failed to call for Hastert's resignation, there should be a Democrat with a spring in their stride ready to step up with a broom and mop bucket.

One way or another, the halls of Congress are gonna get a clean up this November.


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